It feels like the eighteeth time I’ve asked my eight-year-old to stop hitting his six-year-old brother... with a stick. It's triggered tingling in my fingers, stinging in the chest, and a hot roiling at the ribs.
What can I do?
I can react.
In fact, I'm giving myself a ringside seat in the arena of reaction.
Here's the thing with reacting. It's a hot mess of a habit. Apparently, there's a region of the brain that sets off a signal for it. You can picture it as a cartoon clapper bell, getting ready to ding. And when it does it floods the mind, in nano-seconds.
So, what can you do?
Well, there's recognition. The simple recognition of where reactivity is landing. Recognition of the feel of reactivity. Recognition of the here and now of reactivity. Recognition of the need to shift your gears of awareness as reactivity arises.
But where does recognition start?
Maybe it starts with choice.
Here's a choice ... to bring awareness down to the soles of my feet: to the raw, tingling, fizzing, pulsing vibrations down in the feet. Down where it's all pins, needles, and cork-cooled Birkenstock.
The psychologists call this "decentering". You redirect attention to another place in the body to help yourself "step out" of reactivity. You make a deliberate choice to go to what's already here, already available, already happening now. You tune into the wisdom of direct experience.
In this instance, it's the wisdom of the feet, then to an awareness of being breathed by the breathing breath. Yes, there's a 'home run' to be found in the wisdom of the soles of your feet and being breathed by the breathing breath. It may only be momentary but it can be enough of a home run to help you find the space for a wiser response.
In that space you are already mindful.
Welcome to a blog about coming home to a mind already here for you. About showing up for who you already are. Who you truly are.
Maybe we can do some 'sole'-searching together?
The purpose of the blog is to share what it is to make sense of mindfulness, in the good, bad and neutral moments life throws our way. We'll check out the wisdom of teachers and practitioners from all mindful walks of life. The key thing is to share with you what it is to claim the mindful life already here for you.
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With respect and warm wishes.